Will the Indiana Pacers win the 2018-19 championship? Not a fucking chance. Can they compete at the highest level? Absolutely. The Indiana Pacers have no chance of signing an already developed superstar. (in all honesty, I thought if we made a push for Paul George then we could maybe swing him but no one would get on my #BringBackPG13 train.) The Pacers can win 55 games, and we still know that it would take a miracle to beat Boston. What does Indiana have on their side? A TON of cap space. There are a lot of moves this offseason that the Pacers should take a chance at, let’s dig into them.
Free Agents for the Pacers :
Julius Randle PF – 16.1ppg 8.0rpg 2.6apg
I love this fit for the Pacers. I feel like Julius Randle fits what the Pacers are looking for in a PF. Julius not being able to shoot isn’t an issue to me even the slightest. If they do take the route of signing Julius Randle, then they have to make sure they either draft/sign more shooters for this roster. Bojan and Oladipo can’t be the only capable shooters off of a Randle drive. Most Pacers fans may disagree, but I don’t believe in the starting two center theory with Sabonis and Turner. If the Pacers have the chance to pull the trigger on Randle at a reasonable price, (which I know is going to be high), then I think they should do it. He’s the perfect replacement for Thad Young.
Jabari Parker PF/SF – 12.6ppg 4.9rpg 1.9apg
People aren’t talking about this one because it’s a little crazy, but hear me out. I still believe if Jabari can stay on the court, then he is a tremendous talent, that’s a big what if. Jabari didn’t fit into what the Bucks were doing anymore when he came back last season. Jabari would provide the Pacers with a better shooting PF if that’s the route they’re going to take, with even some lineups he can play SF. The only reason I would want the Pacers to take a chance here is if 1) he can pass a physical 2) they get him for dirt cheap on a two year deal with a team option for the 2nd year. Jabari has something left in the tank; he has to stay on the court to prove it.
Will Barton SG/SF – 15.7ppg 5.0rpg 4.1apg
Pacers need to talk first and pull the trigger on Will Barton before someone else can. The Pacers are missing a Will Barton style player and whose better at being the “Will Barton” style player other than Will Barton? I believe this signing helps Bojan tremendously. I know it doesn’t make sense for a team to sign a player to play some of your minutes, and it benefits you, but in this case, I think it does. Bojan is a good role player for the Pacers, what the Pacers lacked was not having a role player that could make up for Bojan on bad shooting nights. A role player isn’t going to play 82 good games, that isn’t how they work, but if you have two similar role players, then you can hope in a majority of the 82 games one of them shoots half ass at least. Then when they’re on, on the same night, then the other team is in trouble from the start. GR3 didn’t provide this for the Pacers like they originally hoped. Just a personal preference, I think Bojan would be a tremendous 6th man.
JJ Redick SG – 17.1ppg 2.5rpg 3.0apg
This would be a weird fit but I think I can talk myself into it. This whole signing only works if they sign a PF. No Circumstance does this work with Sabonis and Turner on the court at the same time. The starting lineup would have to be without a true point guard. Vic would have to step up his playmaking ability. Oladipo, Redick, Bojan, ________, Turner/Sabonis would have to be your lineup almost unless you could talk Redick into being a bench player, doubtful since he’s in his prime. The Pacers would have to fly around defensively and beat everyone with the shooting. I love Redick and would love to have him as a bench player doesn’t seem like something he would sign up for right now, but it could always be worth a call.
Marcus Smart SG/PG – 10.2ppg 3.5rpg 4.8apg
This signing would allow the Pacers to be one of the best crunch time perimeter defending teams in the league. Being able to have a lineup with Smart, Lance, and Oladipo in the game to get a stop is something that I can get behind. Marcus Smart is a glue guy, Lance and Marcus together is literally super glue. The thought of those two on the court together at the same time already makes me feel horrible for the other team having to deal with them both, and those two would fall in love with each other’s shenanigans. Marcus Smart seems like a player the Pacers really should pursue because I think he fits what the Pacers are trying to do but I’m not too sure the Celtics are going to let him walk.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope SG/SF – 13.4ppg 5.2rpg 2.2apg
KCP is the definition of 3-and-D guy. After getting paid the way he did last offseason, and there are a lot better free agents this offseason I see KCP taking a major pay cut. His style of play fits the Pacers, and I think he can start alongside Oladipo and provide defense and floor spacing. He isn’t anything special; he is literally a 3-and-D guy. KCP is a personal preference; you are either for it or against, there will not be much in-between when it comes to him.
Wayne Ellington SG – 11.2ppg 2.8rpg 1.0apg
He fits with what the Pacers have, but you won’t be signing a starter. Wayne Ellington can be a very crucial part of your bench if the Pacers decide Bojan should start. Ellington is a good shooter and can provide shooting during slumps. He shoots well, and he shoots often. I can’t tell you I’m sold on his defensive ability, I think with this signing you need to know you’re signing a shooter.
Luc Mbah a Moute SF/PF – 7.5ppg 3.0rpg 0.9apg 1.2spg
The Pacers need to be 100% sure when signing Mbah a Moute that they’re not overpaying. He isn’t worth much, but what he does provide is Oladipo a break on defense, and he will space the floor slightly. Not a horrible shooter but not someone who is going to kill you either. Mbah a Moute to me is a last resort type of player. You know exactly what you’re getting when you sign Mbah a Moute. If the Pacers end up having to sign Mbah a Moute instead of other guys, then we failed. If we sign him cheap with other guys then I find that a win.
Joe Harris SG/SF – 10.8ppg 3.3rpg 1.6apg
Joe Harris can’t be your sought-after player, but he can be a beautiful piece in a pool of players. If the Pacers go expensive on someone, then I would enjoy seeing a Joe Harris signing also to close up free agency. The kid is an excellent shooter, he started to develop last year, and he’s a very under the radar guy. Joe Harris can provide some real shooting off the bench which is something the Pacers could use. I also really like the fit with Joe Harris, he fits the “overlooked players” shadow that the Pacers have going on.